Benefits Side Effects and Uses of CBD Oil
A popular natural remedy, Cannabidiol is used to treat many common ailments.
Known more commonly as CBD, it is only one of the many (104 to be exact) chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis or pot plant, Cannabis Sativa.
The main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) causes the “high” sensation that's often associated with smoking pot. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.
This is primarily part of its appeal for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or worse, pharmaceutical drugs.
Made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then dilluting it with a carrier oil like coconut, hemp or grapeseed oil.
Recently this natural substance has seen quite a bit of attention and is itself gaining momentum in the health and wellness world with some recent scientific studies seeming to confirm some of the long held beliefs of it's many successful uses.
Here then are some of the benefits of CBD oil
Marijuana has been used to treat pain as far back as 2900 B.C. (1).
More recently, scientists have discovered that certain components of marijuana, including CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving effects.
The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response (2).
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.
For example, one study in rats found that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision, while another rat study found that oral CBD treatment significantly reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.
Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
An oral spray called Sativex, which is a combination of THC and CBD, is approved in several countries to treat pain related to multiple sclerosis.
In a study of 47 people with multiple sclerosis, those treated with Sativex for one month experienced a significant improvement in pain, walking and muscle spasms, compared to the placebo group (3).
Another study found that Sativex significantly improved pain during movement, pain at rest and sleep quality in 58 people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Ability to Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have devastating impacts on health and well-being.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the single largest contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety disorders are ranked sixth (4).
Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headache.
What’s more, medications like benzodiazepines can be addictive and may lead to substance abuse.
CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many who live with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach.
In one study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo before a public speaking test.
The group that received the CBD had significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, compared to the placebo group.
CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (5).
CBD has also shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies.
These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
Could Potentially Benefit Heart Health
Recent research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome.
Studies indicate that CBD may be a natural and effective treatment for high blood pressure.
One recent study treated 10 healthy men with one dose of 600 mg of CBD oil and found it reduced resting blood pressure, compared to a placebo.
The same study also gave the men stress tests that normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal in response to these tests.
Researchers have suggested that the stress- and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure.
Additionally, several animal studies have demonstrated that CBD may help reduce the inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease due to its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.
For example, one study found that treatment with CBD reduced oxidative stress and prevented heart damage in diabetic mice with heart disease.